Michelle MurilloOakland, CA
In my studio practice, I work across traditional and digital printmaking utilizing a broad spectrum of media including intaglio, screen print, relief, lithography, drawing, photography and digital imaging. I often choose alternative substrates such as fabric, aluminum and glass to expand the vocabulary of printmaking in an intermedia context. Through my work I seek to create a visual language that expresses the intricacies of memory. Memory connects our past and present, thus defining who we are. It is my hypothesis that memory is a narrative of the past that can also function as a compass in the present. Therefore, I look to history for evidence.
The Destinations series presents over 200 unique postcards (screen print on slumped glass). The correspondence reveals glimpses of the senders’ and recipients’ histories. The cards are artifacts of memory, records of travel, and events. In pictorial space these narratives of travel become arenas for identity to be revealed and understood in the context of past and present experiences. I have chosen glass as the substrate for the text to heighten the ephemeral nature of memory. While the fragility of glass amplifies this, it is also an unexpected reincarnation of the object. Through the presentation of postcards I hope to create catalytic structures for other’s recollections. The postcards become metaphorical keys to maps of memory, place and identity.
I am attempting to address memory through immigration in Landed. The prints are informed by Angel Island Immigration Station, San Francisco Bay, California. I have reproduced a poem (screen print on slumped glass) that was carved into the wooden walls of the barrack that housed immigrants waiting to gain entry into the United States. Between 1910-1940 175,000 Chinese immigrants entered the country through Angel Island. The poem speaks to the immigrant’s journey as they make their transition. Further, the poem on the barrack wall is also an artifact. Similar to the postcards it is a matrix with a pre-established history that holds memories of personal experience and cross-cultural interaction. In the broader sense the prints are a testimony to immigration in the early twentieth century.
Finally, my work aims to re-present traces of memory as evidence of the past to remind, recall and evoke.
Michelle Murillo received a MFA in Printmaking from the University of Alberta, Canada and a BFA in Painting from Boston University. She is an Assistant Professor of Printmaking and Graduate Studies in Fine Arts at California College of the Arts, President of the California Society of Printmakers and Co-Chair of the Southern Graphics Council International 2014 Bay Area Conference.
Her prints and installations have been exhibited in North, Central and South America, Europe and Asia. Notable exhibitions include: Landed, Limerick Printmakers Gallery, Ireland. Border Art Biennial 2010/Bienal Fronteriza de Arte 2010, El Paso Musuem of Art, Texas and Museo de Arte de Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. Infinite Mirror; Images of American Identity, International Arts & Artists, traveling nationally through 2015. The Los Angeles Printmaking Society 20th National Exhibition (Patricia G. Norman Award), Los Angeles Municipal Art Museum, California. The Los Angeles Printmaking Society 19th National Exhibition, (Juror's Award), Riverside Art Museum, California. Palimsest, The McKinney Avenue Contemporary, Dallas, Texas. Destinos/Destinations, Proyecto'ace, Buenos Aires, Argentina. Elizabeth D'Agostino, Mi-Hyang Kim, Michelle Murillo, Malaspina Printmakers Gallery, Vancouver, Canada. MiniPrint Finland 2010, Lahti Art Museum, Finland.